If you build it, they will come.
The new lights installed at Evans Diamond allowed Cal Baseball to host night game for the first time in its storied history. With the new lights and such new feature such as "beer garden", 2133 fans showed up to the first ever home night game last Thursday. Cal Baseball will continue to play home night games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights the rest of the year. Most of these games will start at 6 PM.
Here is a nice feature video about the first game under the lights. I particularly love those Blue and Gold buntings.
Other than the historical nature of these first night games and the large home crowd drawn, the Bears actually had a subpar week going 1-3 against USC and Stanfurd, easily the two schools that I want to beat the most. In two of the losses, the Bears had great opportunities to win those games, but it turned out the only game that the Bears was able to win was a rout of USC in the only day game during these 4 game stretch. Go figure.
Also of note, the Bears made their Pac-12 Networks debut with the Saturday and Monday games televised.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013: Cal 3, USC 4
Down to the last handful of outs, the Bears tied the game up in the bottom of the 8th with two runs behind the large home crowd. The Bears had a perfect home record before this game with 4 of those 7 wins coming via walk-off. Freshman righthander Ryan Mason was in trouble for the most night but managed to limit the damage to just 3 runs allowed in 7 innings. Unfortunately for the Bears, USC scored the go ahead run in the top of the 9th with one of those dreadful infield single/swinging bunt with two outs.
In an historic evening for Cal baseball, the Golden Bears dropped a 4-3 decision to USC in front of 2,133 fans in the first ever night game at Evans Diamond. Despite the loss, it was a memorable day for David Esquer's program in front of a packed house in a stadium built in 1933.
Cal (15-11, 4-3) made an impressive comeback by scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game, 3-3, on an RBI single by junior catcher Andrew Knapp and a bases loaded walk by freshman designated hitter Nick Halamandaris.
Unfortunately for the Bears, USC (10-15, 3-4) scored a run in the top of the ninth inning when Adam Landecker hit a ball off Cal reliever Trevor Hildenberger that dribbled down the third base line and scored Timmy Robinson for the game-winner. A two-out single by Greg Zebrack had advanced Robinson to third base. It was the Bears' first home loss of the 2013 season after winning seven straight home contests to start the year.
Friday, March 29th, 2013: Cal 5, USC 9
Bears had an early lead (3-0) in this one, but the pitching really faltered.
The contest started in the Bears' favor early when junior shortstop Mike Reuvekamp was hit by a Wyatt Strahan (1-1, 6.0 innings, six hits, four runs, three earned runs, four walks, one strikeout) pitch to reach base and then scored on Knapp's two-run homer over the right field fence. Cal added another run in the second inning when sophomore second baseman Brenden Farney scored on a passed ball by Trojan catcher Garrett Stubbs.
USC came back to tie the game, 3-3, with three runs in the fourth inning off of Bear senior left-hander Justin Jones (1-3, 4.1 innings, eight hits, six runs, five earned runs, no walks, three strikeouts). Cal briefly took back the lead on an RBI single by freshman center fielder Devin Pearson, but the Trojans broke the game open with three more runs in the top of the fifth inning and three more runs in the eighth inning.
Finally after trailing 9-4, the Bears mustered a run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a fielder's choice RBI by junior first baseman Devon Rodriguez.
Knapp, who also had a single in the fifth inning, finished the evening 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Preston was 1-for-4 with an RBI after getting a pair of hits in Thursday night's game - the first ever night game at Evans Diamond.
Saturday, March 30th, 2013: Cal 15, USC 5
Chris Paul lead the Bears' attack with two homers in this one, as the Bears salvaged the series with a win over a USC squad that had been underachieving before this series.
Sophomore third baseman Chris Paul was 2-for-5 with two home runs, including a grand slam, as Cal baseball came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat USC, 15-5, Saturday (March 30) at Evans Diamond. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Nelson (1-1) was also instrumental in the Golden Bears' win, throwing 4.0 innings with three hits, no runs, one walk and four strikeouts.
Monday, April 1st, 2013: Cal 3, Stanford 4
The Bears hit the road and played an non-conference game on Monday night at No.25 Furd. Despite having more hits and committing less errors, Furd got the key hit in the form of a three run homer and the Bears could not quite make up the difference. Chris Paul homered in his first at bat, which was his 3rd homer in 4 at bat over two games.
Cal struck first in its battle with its Bay Area rival on sophomore third baseman Chris Paul's solo home run to left field off of Stanford starter John Hochstatter in the second inning. It was Paul's third home run in the past two games as he had a three-run homer and a grand slam last Saturday versus USC.
The Cardinal came back with three runs in the bottom of the third inning with Austin Slater hitting a three-run homer off of the Bears' sophomore left-hander Chris Muse-Fisher (1-2, 3.0 innings, two hits, three runs, one walk, three strikeouts). Stanford added another run in the fourth inning on Dominic Jose's sacrifice fly to left field off of junior right-hander Ryan Wertenberger.
Baseball was also featured in This Week in Cal Athletics
Cal Bears Hitter of the Week:
Andrew Knapp - While 3rd baseman Chris Paul did hit 3 homers this past week, the Cal catcher Knapp went 7 for 13 for the week with 2 homers and a double.
Honorable mention: both Devin Pearson and Brandon Farney had a hit in all four games.
Cal Bears Pitcher of the Week:
Logan Scott - The senior reliever appeared in two games, going for a total of 4.2 innings while giving up zero runs and striking out 9.
Pac-12 Conference Baseball Standing:
Coming up for Cal Baseball:
The Bears head down to Tucson, Arizona for a 3 game series, starting on Friday. The Friday and Saturday night games (5 PM PT start) will both be streamed online via Pac-12 Digital. The Sunday afternoon game at 12 PM PT will be on ESPNU (and ESPN3 online).